Manager discusses Clarets challengeReading manager Brian McDermott has been unsurprised to see Saturday’s visitors Burnley pushing for an automatic promotion spot as we enter the final third of the season.
Despite relegation from the Premier League last season, the Clarets have kept plenty of constants – including their manager Sean Dyche, who is now the third-longest-serving manager in the Championship. The Burnley boss has guided the side to the top-flight before, and our weekend guests sit just two points off the summit this season.
“They’ve got the ingredients there,” said McDermott. “They’ve got players who know the league, they’ve got a manager that knows his way around the league and get out of it – he’s a fabulous manager; I’ve got a lot of time for Sean, the club and the way they are doing things there.
“They will be massive favourites to get promotion this year, in my opinion. They’ve got a goalscorer there, and they’ve got lads that will run forward – but they’ll run back as quickly as they run forward. They work really hard as a team together.
“It looks like they have kept calm as a club; Sean has built another team again which is capable of competing at the top end. After Christmas, which is where we are now, that’s where they’re at – and that’s where they’ll be until the end of the season, I’m sure.”
This week’s logistics have been about as simple as could be hoped for – consecutive home fixtures means no long journeys on the coach, and no midweek distractions. So the Royals boss has enjoyed having some time to do a little more work on the training ground.
“I’ve had 12 games in eight weeks – it has been game after game, and we’ve had a transfer window involved,” he continued. “All sorts of stuff has been going on which has needed taking care of as far as the football is concerned.
“Now you feel that we can really start and get going and we’ve got a bit more time to work with the players to get the shape that we want and they style of play that we want, and get the results that we want.”